Talented harness racing reinsman Clint Hall hopes to celebrate his return to driving after an absence of more than six years by succeeding with vastly-improved Whos Mistake in the 1730m Clipsal Datacomms Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The 35-year-old Hall, elder son of champion trainer Gary Hall sen., had his first drive in his comeback to harness racing when he finished a fighting second with 4/1 chance Heez Orl Black behind the 5/1on favourite Bettors Fire in a 1730m event at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night.
“It was a good feeling to be back out there,” he said. “And I’m looking forward to a strong showing from Whos Mistake on Friday night.” Heez Orl Black started from the back line on Tuesday night and Hall quickly had him in the breeze, with Bettors Fire setting a dawdling pace.
Hall sen. said that Whos Mistake was poised to be prominent after his excellent second to star performer Im Victorious at Gloucester Park last Friday week. “He has raced in fine form after a brief let-up, with three wins, a second and two fourths from six starts and I expect him to go well again this week.”
Whos Mistake, a former Victorian performer, has been most consistent, having had 22 starts this year for six wins, six seconds, four thirds, four fourths and two failures, one of which was when he was retired with broken gear.
Hall sen. will also be represented by Benjamin Banneker and Heavens Mistake in Friday night’s race. Benjamin Banneker, a smart New Zealand-bred five-year-old who has won nine times from only 19 starts, will start from the No. 6 barrier on the front line and will be driven by Gary Hall jun. He has won at two of his past four starts and looks set to fight out the finish.
Whos Mistake will start from barrier four on the back line and is capable of unwinding a powerful finishing burst.
Clint Hall has driven 169 winners from 1097 drives. His previous drive before Tuesday night was behind On The Agenda, who finished third behind Machine Gun in a 2503m stand at Gloucester Park on June 8, 2007. His most recent success was with McRaes Mate when he scored by a head from Roseworthy Lad, driven by his younger brother Gary, at Gloucester Park on May 28, 2007.
Clint Hall also will drive My Jasami from the inside of the back line in the first qualifying heat of the 2130m Clipsal Saturn The Warwick Pace. Gary Hall jun. will drive stablemate Real Hammer, who will be a warm favourite from the No. 3 barrier on the front line.
“Real Hammer is a dead-set frontrunner and if he leads he should win,” said Hall sen. Real Hammer started from the back line and raced without cover for much of the way when a wilting fifth behind Ohoka Samson over 2130m last Friday night. He set the pace and won easily from Rojen Cruz and El Machine over 2130m the previous week.
VOAK OPTS FOR LORD LOMBO FROM THE INSIDE BARRIER
has driven speedy mare Leda McNally at all her 21 starts in Western Australia for 12 wins and five placings. But he has opted to drive the five-year-old’s stablemate Lord Lombo in the $21,000 Clipsal And Schneider Electric New Season Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
“It was a comparatively easy decision, really,” he said. Leda McNally faces a hard task from the outside of the back line, whereas Lord Lombo looks set to fight out the finish from the No. 1 barrier on the front line.”
Leda McNally will be handled by, who drove Lord Lombo when he set the pace and held on to win from the fast-finishing Leda McNally over 2130m at Gloucester Park three starts ago. Leda McNally and Lord Lombo are trained at Pinjarra by Chris King and are in sparkling form.
Lord Lombo began brilliantly from the No. 6 barrier for Voak last Friday night before taking the trail behind star performer Has The Answers and finishing solidly to be second to the evergreen pacer.
Voak, fresh from landing a double at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night with Kinsfolk and What The Blazes, said he expected Lord Lombo to set the early pace. He would then determine his tactics in the 2536m event depending on the way the race unfolded. Not only is Lord Lombo a smart frontrunner, he can also produce a flying finish.
Lord Lombo started from the back line in a 2130m event four starts ago when he was in 11th position with 250m to travel before Voak brought him from ninth on the home turn with a devastating burst, seven wide, to get up and win by a nose from Midnight Dylan at a 1.56.7 rate.
Looming as the chief rivals for Lord Lombo this week are 11-year-old Sneakyn Down Under and eight-year-old-old Ima Rocket Star.
Sneakyn Down Under has returned to top form over the past month with a splendid victory in the Howard Porter Memorial, a close second to Has The Answers and thirds behind Uppy Son and Has The Answers at his past two starts. He will start from barrier three on the back line.
Ima Rocket Star resumed after a two-month break in the 2536m August Cup last Friday week when he raced in the one-out, two-back position and fought on to finish sixth behind Uppy Son. He finished powerfully to win the Pinjarra Cup from Hokonui Ben and Pacific Warrior in the first week of June.
He will be driven byfor Forrestdale trainers Greg and , who started the 2013-14 season with a flourish, winning the final four events on the program at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon with Jay Bees Grin, Everton VC, Your Good Fortune and Barrow Street.
OLIVIERI IS THE TRAINER TO FOLLOW EARLY ON FRIDAY NIGHT
Oakford horsemanshould be the trainer to follow early in the ten-event program at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he has sound prospects of winning the first three events.
He has four runners engaged in the opening event, the 2130m Clipsal Powerhouse Pace, in which he predicts that five-year-old Imtheguy will prove very hard to beat.will drive Imtheguy, and Olivieri’s other runners are Im Clean Cut ( ), Turnpike Cruiser ( ) and Rojen Cruz ( ).
Imtheguy, a winner of four races In South Australia and three in Victoria, has won once and been placed second three times from his seven starts in WA. Imtheguy, who is handily drawn at barrier three on the front line, started from the inside of the back line and trailed the pacemaker Ohoka Samson before finishing solidly along the pegs to be second to that pacer over 2130m last Friday night.
He also trailed the pacemaker Black Pontiac at his previous start before running on determinedly to be a head second to that pacer over 1730m at his previous outing.
“He’s racing super and he’s my best chance in the race,” Olivieri declared. “His past two runs have been nice and to be placed in 1.55.3 two starts ago was very good.”
Turnpike Cruiser, asix-year-old, will be making his Western Australian debut after winning three times in Victoria in 2010 and 12 times in Tasmania. He pleased Olivieri with a close second to At Princeton in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning when the final 800m was covered in 57.6sec.
“He’s a nice horse, his trial was good and he’s a place chance,” Olivieri said. Turnpike Cruiser will start from the inside of the back line.
Im Clean Cut is an eight-year-old who is in sound form, with Gloucester Park thirds behind This Time Dylan and The Black Lord at two of his past three starts. He will start from barrier four on the front line.
Rojen Cruz, an honest ten-year-old who will start from barrier two on the back .line, was a Bunbury winner in July and ran on well when second to Real Hammer over 2130m at Gloucester Park two starts ago.
In the second event on Friday night, the Clipsal Led Lighting Pace for mares, Olivieri is enthusiastic about the prospects of Arousing, a winner at three of her past five starts. She will be driven by Lewis and will start from the inside of the back line. She should enjoy an ideal passage behind the polemarker and likely leader Beautiful Night.
Arousing warmed up for Friday night’s event with a strong effort when a close second to Kinsfolk over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night. She had a tough run outside the pacemaker Ace of Cards before hitting the front 120m from the post and then being overtaken by the fast-finishing Kinsfolk in the final couple of strides.
Olivieri also predicted that six-year-old Kiss Chasey would be hard to beat from the prized No. 1 barrier in the third event, the 2130m Clipsal Energy Efficiency Westbred Pace.
“He’s found a newand is probably the horse to beat,” he said. “El Machine is going terrific, but from the draws, Kiss Chasey is probably the horse to beat. He’s going super and is a good leader. But he’s also versatile.”
Kiss Chasey impressed at Gloucester Park at his most recent appearance, last Friday fortnight, when he started from the back line, raced wide early and then charged to the front before going on to win easily from Moonlight Rockhole and Sparkling Seelster. He was an all-the winner over Cool Johnny at Pinjarra three starts before that.
El Machine is in splendid form for trainer-reinsmanand has won at two of his past four starts. He will start from the outside of the back line, but has the ability to overcome that disadvantage.
LEWIS TO DRIVE PACIFIC WARRIOR FOR THE FIRST TIME
Champion reinsmanhas been engaged to drive up-and-coming pacer Pacific Warrior for the first time when the New Zealand-bred six-year-old contests the 1730m Clipsal 56 Series Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Lewis will replace, who has driven the -trained gelding in all of his 21 starts in WA for 12 wins, five seconds and two thirds.
Pacific Warrior, a winner of four races in New Zealand, now has the longest losing run in his Australian career, a sequence of three (when he has worked hard in the breeze and finished second to Leda McNally, second to Mighty Flying Thomas and third to Black N Bettor).
Pacific Warrior will start from the No. 4 barrier on the front line and is likely to receive stiff opposition from last-start winners Ohoka Samson and Black N Bettor as well as polemarker Old McDonald, who is working attractively in preparation for his first appearance for six months.
Old McDonald, an M3-class pacer, became eligible to contest Friday night’s event when trainerengaged concession reinsman Robbie Williams. Trainer engaged concession reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green to enable Ohoka Samson to run in the race which is restricted to M2-class performers.
The prospects of both pacers were greatly enhanced when they drew favourably in the random barrier draw. Old McDonald will start from the pole and Ohoka Samson from the No. 2 barrier. Egerton-Green drove Ohoka Samson to an effortless all-the-way victory at a 1.58.2 rate over 2130m last Friday night.
by Ken Casellas